'Doklam not raised at Wuhan as issue was resolved'

'Doklam not raised at Wuhan as issue was resolved'

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. PTI file photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not raise the Doklam issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his meeting at Wuhan as the matter was already resolved in August last year through "mature diplomatic" efforts, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday.

"There was no fixed agenda for Wuhan ... and Doklam was already resolved through mature diplomacy and without losing any ground on August 28, last year," Sushma informed the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

Responding to supplementary questions, Sushma made it clear that no specific topic was discussed during the Wuhan meeting between Xi and Modi. "Since there was no fixed agenda, how can Doklam be discussed," Sushma said, adding that there has been no change in the status quo at Doklam since August 28, 2017.

The minister said the main objective of the Wuhan summit was to create a conducive environment for the two leaders to talk freely, ensure a certain comfort level and an atmosphere of mutual understanding and mutual trust. "On all the three aspects, we have achieved success," Sushma said. Opposition parties led by the Congress have been attacking Modi for failing to raise the Doklam issue during the Wuhan summit.

Participating in the debate on the no-confidence motion against the government in the Lok Sabha, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had accused Modi of "buckling under Chinese pressure" while the Indian Army stood their ground in Doklam.

"After the standoff Modi ji went to China with 'no agenda'. But actually, it was China's agenda. He decides to concede to China's demands. The soldiers stood their ground, but the prime minister could not. He buckled under pressure from China," Rahul had said on July 20.

Sushma said as a follow up to the Wuhan summit, the defence minister and foreign minister of China will be visiting India later this year to enhance cooperation between the two countries. In response to another question, the minister said as per the "strategic guidance" given by the two leaders, it has been made clear to the two militaries that issues should be resolved at the local level and not allowed to fester.

Sushma said the dispute in the northern part of Doklam was between China and Bhutan and India could not comment on the matter. "Our concern was related only to the tri-junction area," she said.

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